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The ICOSPA Congress--Go International in Grand Rapids

By: P.J. Thompson

P.J. Thompson, president Trans-Matic Mfg. Co., Holland, MI P.J. Thompson, an ICOSPA Congress subcommittee member, serves as one of the local hosts in Grand Rapids and was instrumental in lining up event sponsors and arranging plant tours and speakers.

Sunday, June 01, 2008
 
Over the past 10 years our metalforming company, Trans-Matic, has put forth a lot of effort to gain international exposure. We believe that in today’s world, doing so is essential. I can say from personal experience that the process of gaining international exposure for Trans-Matic has been difficult, expensive and in many instances downright exhausting.

Today it seems that an overseas trip to anywhere can be fraught with problems. Just trying to schedule meetings with the right people can be maddening. Throw in hazardous ground transportation, questionable lodging and strange food and you have a real adventure. For many of us, an adventure is okay when we are vacationing. But when conducting business with our company’s time, money and resources on the line, we tend to think differently.

What if you could attend one event in one place for just a few short days, and what if in that short time you could gain for your company exposure that would otherwise take numerous overseas trips, countless meetings and a lot of money?

Well, such an event is about to occur, and this event is being organized here in the United States by the Precision Metalforming Association.

This fall, PMA will host the ICOSPA 16th International Congress in Grand Rapids, MI, from Sunday evening to Wednesday evening, September 14-17.

What’s ICOSPA, you ask? It’s the International Council of Sheet Metal Presswork Associations, comprising the national metalforming trade associations representing France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. ICOSPA holds its International Congress every three years, hosted and organized on a rotating basis by one of its six member organizations.

This year, members of PMA—including me—proudly serve on a special project committee charged with developing the ICOSPA 2008 Congress agenda. A meaningful theme-based series of programs has been prepared. Each day’s activities will feature morning assembly sessions with keynote speakers and international-business presentations by ICOSPA member countries, afternoon plant tours and social events to promote networking and development of business relationships—all on an international scale. Session presentations will be simultaneously interpreted into Japanese, French, German and English. Delegations from more than 10 countries are expected to attend. If you’re looking to form partnerships beyond our borders, this is the place to be.

Grand Rapids itself is home to many metalformers and PMA member companies, many of which you likely know quite well. The weather will be spectacular in September, and the hosting facilities in Grand Rapids are almost all newly constructed. The accommodations are excellent, the food will be delicious, and everything will be organized and managed for your comfort and enjoyment. And I can promise you that this will be provided at a reasonable cost. You can find ICOSPA details and registration information at icospa.com/2008. 

It is very important for the United States to show the world that our metalforming industry is globally capable. Now, more than ever, is a good time for us to host our industry peers from across the globe. There is much for us to share and so much more for us to gain in terms of international exposure for our metalforming companies and for us personally. I continue to be amazed at the quality and character of the people in our industry. My amazement is compounded during the rare opportunities I have to interact with industry peers from overseas. Well, such a chance presents itself this September in Grand Rapids. I hope that you will come to the ICOSPA 2008 Congress.

 


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